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CaptionEddie Brown July 27 ?--December 28 1992 performed for more than 50 years in a career that spanned the U.S. Canada and Africa. Eddie was discovered at age 16 by Bill Robinson during a tap dance contest held in Eddie's hometown of Omaha Nebraska. Eddie was a flash dancer at that time much like one of his uncles. He caught Mr. Robinson's attention by performing "Doin' the New Lowdown." Eddie had pieced the famous routine together from a recording and by seeing movies of Bojangles. At age 18 he joined the Bill Robinson Revue at New York's famed Apollo Theater. He remained with the show from 1933-1939. Eddie came into rhythm tap while working with The Bill Robinson Revue. When he was done with the show he would go to Eddie Small's Paradise where he would be a guest performer. He would do his usual up-tempo flash dancing but remembered seeing some dancers using a moderate tempo with different and strange rhythms "More beats to the bar." When approached for work they turned him down because they saw that he didn't understand what they were doing. "I left and I woodshedded for 3 weeks. After I found out that rhythm was flash dancing cut in half. Twelve choruses doing flash is like doing 2 or 3 choruses of rhythm. Double-up." After those 3 weeks of experimentation and discovery Eddie returned to Eddie Small's club. The band began playing his usual up tempo music and his time Eddie stopped them "Nope.stop. Not there." "Where?' "I say put it here [starts singing a slower swinging "Back Home Indiana"]. I did my two choruses of rhythm. By me being a flash dancer I found out that I could do the same steps and it worked out beautifully. I went on from there creating creating creating." Eddie had learned that "[T]he things I did in flash dancing coincided with the rhythm--man there was no end." By the time the show tour arrived in San Francisco Eddie wasn't doing flash anymore...
HeadlineThe Beat: Eddie Brown Center
Copyright NoticeThe Beat
Date Created02/18/2005
URLhttp://users.lmi.net/thebeat/
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